When you think of a vegetable garden, you probably think of tomatoes. I would say tomatoes are the number one most popular garden vegetable to grow in the home garden. I’m sure it’s because home grown tomatoes are so vastly better than store bought. But tomatoes can be finicky and difficult to grow. What are the easy to grow vegetable favorites for beginners?
Tag Archive for gardening
Spend even more time in the garden with garden activities for kids. Getting kids in the garden teaches them so much. And the garden makes learning activities fun. The garden is full of teachable moments on it’s own, but adding pre-planned garden activities for kids helps round out kid’s learning even more. » Read more
The year before last we were super lazy about our fall garden tasks and last year ended up being one of our worst garden years ever. Everything that happens in the garden teaches us. This helped me learn that fall garden tasks are some of the most important tasks for garden success.
Man does my husband ever love hot peppers. We always try to grow them, but this year we have a bumper crop so we are working on preserving as many of our excess hot peppers as we can for later.
Is there a garden chore you just hate? What is the best way to get through it? For me, it’s having the right garden tools for the right job! I know I could not live without my knee pad and my gloves. I have super nice gloves that fit well and are sturdy. That would be the number one thing I would recommend getting the best you can afford. You get what you pay for.
I don’t know how many times someone has asked me how long seeds last in storage. It’s a good question. I know seeds of grain have been discovered in ancient tombs and they actually germinated when planted. Isn’t that amazing? Thousand-year-old seeds are still alive?
There are many ways to store seeds, and some are better than others. If you want seeds to last in storage the longest time possible, you definitely have to go to some effort to keep them dry. Keeping them out of the light is a good idea as well. Let’s start with how seeds work.
Jerusalem artichokes or sunchokes are a tasty, starchy tuber similar in flavor and texture to potatoes. They taste sweeter than potatoes though. The great thing about them is you can harvest them in winter when there is not much else to harvest.
I really really really really hate squash bugs! They are the bane of my existence. We scarcely ever even get a single squash from a single plant in our garden. If there was a way to remove those suckers from the face of the earth, I sure would do it. They are disgusting! Boo!
Raised beds are fairly popular among gardeners these days. What’s all the hype? Why do you need them? There is nothing wrong with gardening right in the ground, but raised beds offer some different options to gardeners as growing spaces. Building raised beds can be expensive and it does take time to build them and fill them. They can also fix a whole host of gardening problems and for us at Little Sprouts, they work.
Gardening with kids is one of the most amazing and rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. I have been a family childcare provider for 21 years and over the course of that time, I have tried and tried to grow things with my kids. I come from a long line of farmers and have always been interested in growing food, but I just had no instincts.
Gardening has a million benefits. There is nothing better to teach your kids. Click here for a video on how.
Five years ago, I was invited to a class to teach childcare providers to garden with their kids. I was so excited and immediately fell in love with everything about it. I set the goal to teach as many kids as possible to grow food, to teach as many people as possible to teach this to kids, and to grow as much of my kid’s food as possible here at our house.
I failed so many times over the years because I didn’t know the basics of how to garden, and Doug, the gardening teacher in the class, changed all that for me with the information he shared with us.
How we got started
First, I got help from a daycare parent to build some simple beds and mix dirt, then we got our free bed from the garden class, then we built more beds, and then we asked the neighbor for some land and built an expansion.
Overall, we have over 50 raised beds, some are as small as one foot by two feet and some are as large as 3 feet by 10 feet. It’s a hodgepodge. We built many from discarded materials, got a small grant, collected money from local businesses, daycare parents, and family members, and put a ton of money into it ourselves, but we built a paradise to teach kids. Click here for more details about how we did it.
You certainly don’t have to go this big, kids can learn a ton in a couple of five-gallon buckets full of dirt. You can plant a lot in a 3 by 3 foot bed and so much learning can happen with that. You can have one tomato plant and find dozens of learning opportunities with just that. Please don’t feel overwhelmed by the volume we’ve chosen here. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It can just be something!
Check out this seed catalog scavenger hunt you can do with your kids to get them excited!
The garden has ups and downs
There are so many things you can learn in the garden and if you don’t know how to garden yourself, you can do like we did and learn while you teach your kids. We are by no means experts, but we have a lot of fun figuring it out. My husband is a big help and I certainly could not do it without him.
For more skills kids should know, click here.